Sunday, 26 June 2011

Indoor vs. Outdoor

As most of you know, yesterday I ran 10k, and it was so much more difficult than I expected.

I think this is down to a few things and they will all be things I won't do to train for my Half Marathon, so here we go -

  1. The main thing - electronics are not my friend. Treadmills, Nike+; I don't think I could have hated either more than I did that day.

I trained, and I liked to think I trained hard, for this 10k. I had an injury which stopped me for a month, but all in all, I had been running for nearly 4 months to improve my fitness for this run, enough time, surely? Well apparently not when everything you rely on to tell you more or less the truth is completely wrong.

A major mistake of mine I think has been training on a treadmill. Yes, I am still running, still gaining in speed & distance, but I'm in an air conditioned gym, the incline has been at 0.0 (stupid me) and clearly it is a lot easier to pace yourself. As I realised yesterday, you have none of this when you run a race.

The treadmill also likes to tell you that you have run further than you actually have. Oh, and so does my Nike+. During my 10k I had just passed the 6k mark and I decided to have a quick look at my sportsband to see how many miles I was on, it was telling me I had run 5.7 miles (9k+ equivalent)  I knew I had a lot longer to go and it messed up my focus completely. I wanted to think I had nearly finished, but I had only just passed half way. I couldn't believe it.

I had been relying on my Nike+ band and the treadmill to give me a guesstimate of what I could do the race in. The week before, I had run just over "5 miles" in 45 minutes, I was amazed & proud. Race day, I finished 5 miles in an hour. The km's seemed literally miles apart, but I now know that is normal, not what I did on the treadmill.

My time on the day was 1hr 15 minutes. I'm still struggling to be completely happy with that, but considering I've never run quite what I thought, I guess I will learn to accept it. There are always other races.

Overall - relying on gadgets fucked up my timing. Basically I feel like launching my Nike+ off the balcony (but I won't because it cost too much) and never stepping foot on a treadmill again.

2.  "Uneven surfaces" - they weren't kidding. Temple Newsam had me running up hills, through mud, on grass, on pavement, down hills, in puddles & over potholes... My face was a little something like this ;


Now in Spain I did a combination of treadmill and outdoor running. I always found outdoor running more difficult due to hayfever, asthma & generally dodging old Spanish folk that suddenly stop to chat. Plus, there are things I like to call invisible hills - they don't look like hills, but you know your pushing your hardest just to put one foot in front of the other.

When I came back to Leeds 3 weeks ago, I joined a gym and stuck religiously to the treadmill.

Wrong move.

Race Day, by 1km, had me realise the importance of running / training outside.

The first hill was a slap in the face,"I'VE NEVER DONE HILL TRAINING, BITCH!" - if my legs could talk, this is what they would have said. Panic set in and my focus was out from then on. I knew there were more hills to come and all I could do was keep going. I was gutted.

Another reason to train outside is the weather, especially the lovely British weather we have here. Luckily, Race Day weather wasn't too bad, but it definitely wasn't as comfortable as the insides of Esporta. Humid, rain clouds, showers, blaring hot sun, wind, I basically got it all apart from a downpour and thunder & lightning.

So what will I do? 

I will never be unprepared again.

We have our Half Marathon coming up, and you never know how many hills, bumps & lumps are in such a thing, so from now on Hill Training is part of my plan, that, or jumping on the treadmill at incline 10.

I will go running through fields, parks, roads to make sure my feet & legs are ready for some uneven surfaces.

I will run in all weather types. Sunshine, rain (more likely to be the latter, lets face it, it is the UK) snow, hail, thunder. Whatever it takes.

I would hate to turn up in London and feel as unprepared as I didn't realise I was yesterday.

My 10k wasn't a negative experience, not at all, I'm grateful for everything I've realised whilst doing it, I just need to move my ass through all weather types & possibly buy a map to work out my distance rather than technology!

No pain, no gain :)

Lets go.

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